Critic Reviews

40

Metascore

Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
The film is heavily reliant on jump scares, but its best moments are the ones before them, when the tension builds without the benefit of escalating music to queue you in to the approaching shock.
60
Aside from the usual self-slamming doors and flying bodies, there are enough creepy kids and hiding knives to distract from a plot that's increasingly mobile yet running on the spot.
60
Boxoffice Magazine
Paranormal Activity 4 may mean more of the same, but in a modern horror landscape too often made up of equal parts of gore and boredom and resigned straight-to-video, it's a chiller designed to be seen in a crowded theater, and that alone makes it superior to its peers.
60
Catfish pair Joost and Ariel Schulman keep the franchise firmly on track with a satisfyingly scary fourth instalment.
60
This film's strong suit is that it finally feels contemporary.
42
PA4 develops the story ever so slightly (not enough to satisfy fans) and delivers a few good scares (not enough to satisfy newbies); mostly, it plays like a overlong prologue for the already-in-the-works PA5. Here's hoping this is just the tension-racking lull before the next big scream.
40
Fairly mild in tone and riffing -- if not quite ripping -- off a collection of horror classics that includes "The Shining," "Rosemary's Baby" and "Poltergeist," both the franchise's premise and its execution nevertheless remain rudimentary, with the narrative and character backstories representing more of a sketch than a fully realized vision of the supernatural world that Katie inhabits.
40
Variety
Less reliant on slow-burn suspense and larded with fake-out jump scares, this is the first sequel in the series that fails to advance the overall mythology in any meaningful way.
40
There's a point at which movies become only merchandise, and the Paranormal franchise may be heading for that nexus, that nadir.
20
PA 4's best idea, besides reintroducing the slow-walking, statuesque Katie, is a strange video trick involving lots of little lights filling a darkened room. It's tough to describe, but the cameras, of course, capture a figure the characters can't.

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